Women Leaders in College Sports and NCAA Partner for 6th Annual President/Search Firm Roundtable Event

A powerhouse virtual event connecting senior-level women and hiring influencers in collegiate athletics and sports


February 18, 2022

Christina Turner
Women Leaders in College Sports

Kansas City, Mo.— Women Leaders in College Sports (Women Leaders) and the NCAA hosted the 6th annual President/Search Firm Roundtable event on February 17, 2022, in a virtual format. 
The event included 50 senior-level women from all three NCAA divisions, 36% of whom were women of color. The participants are Women Leaders members with executive profiles in Women Leaders’ Career Connect platform. They were identified for the President/Search Firm Roundtable program based on their level and years of experience in the industry and an expressed desire to step into an athletic director or commissioner role within the next one to three years. 

The roundtable event connected these women to a diverse and influential group of industry experts and leaders who are deeply linked to collegiate athletics and have a strong understanding of the hiring landscape and processes. 

Among the experts engaged were 13 university presidents and chancellors and 28 industry experts, including search firm representatives, consultants, and sitting athletic directors and commissioners. 

"This important event provides a platform for executive-level women to connect with hiring influencers," said Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. "The women gain access to information that helps them prepare, position themselves, and ultimately win executive-level jobs. Connecting hirers and influencers with these talented and ready female leaders resulted in 24% of participants from last year's event advancing into leadership roles. The time to move the needle on more diverse and inclusive hires is now."

The President/Search Firm Roundtable event consisted of two main components:

  1. Small group roundtable discussions led by the university presidents and chancellors 
  2. One-on-one coaching sessions between candidates and industry experts 

Women Leaders and the NCAA have partnered on the President/Search Firm Roundtable event for the past six years. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event occurred in-person at the annual Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention. The PSFR was created in support of The NCAA Presidential Pledge  and reflects the NCAA’s and Women Leaders’ joint commitment to promoting diversity and gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. The program has engaged over 270 women executives from across all three NCAA divisions. The virtual format, which also occurred in 2021, allows the program to include a higher number of women and presidents, chancellors and industry experts. 

“We are proud to support the roundtable event with Women Leaders in College Sports, as it promotes the NCAA values of diversity, inclusion and gender equity within leadership,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert. “This event brings together some of the most talented senior-level women in intercollegiate athletics to learn from industry leaders how to best position themselves for the future.”

The 2022 President/Search Firm Roundtable included (but was not limited to) the following participants:
  • JP Abercrumbie, University of Notre Dame
  • Femi Alao Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Erica Albertin, Goshen College
  • Joyce Bell Limbrick, University of Southern California
  • Monique Carroll, Huston-Tillotson University
  • Jessica Chrabaszcz, University of Connecticut
  • Jennifer Cunningham, Providence College
  • Stephanie Dollar, UMass Boston
  • Kristine Fowler, US Military Academy (Army West Point)
  • Katie Fraumann, University of Michigan
  • Jessica Grasso, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
  • Ursula Gurney, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Jessica Harbison Weaver, PacWest Conference
  • Katie Hine, John Carroll University
  • Carey Hoyt, The Ohio State University
  • Angie Jabir, Siena College
  • Dr. Paula Jackson, Hampton University
  • Stephanie Johnson, Brevard College
  • Jessica Kerr, NCAA
  • Cassie Kosiba, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Karin Lee, Ball State University
  • Rhonda Lundin Bennett, University of Nevada
  • Heather MacCulloch, Baruch College
  • Farrah Manthei, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Jeanette McKillop, Franklin Pierce University
  • Kimberly Miller, Augustana University
  • Malory Monson, University of Utah
  • Natasha Oakes, University of North Texas
  • Janet Oberle, Saint Louis University
  • Jessica Reo, Temple University
  • Allison Rich, Princeton University
  • Dawn Rogers, Baylor University
  • Christina Roybal, University of Northern Iowa
  • Jennifer Saxon, University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
  • Leslie Shevlin, Willamette University
  • Colleen Sorem, University of Maryland
  • Courtney Vinson, Northern Illinois University
  • Kristin Williams, Mid-American Conference
The 2022 President/Search Firm Roundtable included the following presidents and chancellors:

Division I
  • Dennis N. Assanis, University of Delaware
  • Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D., University of Missouri
  • Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., DePaul University
  • Doug Girod, M.D., The University of Kansas
  • Robert C. Robbins, M.D., University of Arizona
Division II
  • Rhett Brown, Wingate University
  • Dr. Paulette R. Dillard, Shaw University
  • Cathy Sandeen, California State University-East Bay
Division III
  • Jeff Abernathy, Alma College
  • Carmen Twillie Ambar, Oberlin College
  • Dr. Kate Conway-Turner, Buffalo State College, SUNY
  • Mary-Beth A. Cooper, Springfield College
  • Dr. Tiffany McKillip Franks, Averett University

The 2022 President/Search Firm Roundtable included the following industry experts and search firm consultants:

  • Mike Alden, MRJ Advisors LLC
  • Jill Bodensteiner, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Kyle Bowlsby, Bowlsby Sports Advisors
  • Chad Chatlos, Ventura/Turnkey
  • Sandy Hatfield Clubb, The PICTOR Group
  • Brian Curtis, Paradigm Four
  • Sarah Dehring, Alma College
  • Scott Garrett, Cleveland State University
  • Travis Goff, University of Kansas
  • Jeff Hathaway, CarrSports Consulting, LLC
  • Grant Higgison, Parker Executive Search
  • Candace Campbell Jackson, Syracuse University
  • DeLaina Jordan, Parker Executive Search
  • Candice S. Lee, Ed.D, Vanderbilt University
  • Cheryl Levick, Personalized Executive Training
  • Shana Levine, 3 Fold Group
  • Heather Lyke, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA
  • Taylor Middleton, Parker Executive Search
  • Jacqueline Nicholson, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Daniel Parker, Parker Executive Search
  • Kurt Patberg, Athletics Staffing and Consulting
  • Desiree Reed-Francois, University of Missouri
  • Dell Robinson, Spelman Johnson
  • Glenn Sugiyama, DHR International
  • Mike Thomas, CarrSports Consulting, LLC
  • Drew Turner, Collegiate Sports Associates
  • Natalie Winkelfoos, Oberlin College

About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics and beyond. More than 4,300 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches and student-athletes. Read about the recent advancement landscape for women athletic directors in CEO Patti Phillips’ May 2021 USA Today op-ed, and follow Women Leaders on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @WomenLeadersCS.